Top tips on how to get the best out of your local wedding fair!
Once the wedding season is over, the planning season begins! I love wedding fairs – for me, they’re a great way to get to know brides and grooms and an excellent opportunity to chat weddings all day long! It’s so fun to hear about how far along everyone is in the planning process and to hear everyone’s different ideas.
Having been to many wedding fairs in the past, both as a bride to be and as a photographer, I thought I’d put some ideas together to help you make the most of any wedding fair you attend. They can be a little overwhelming, so take note of my top tips below – I’ve also asked some other local suppliers for their input too!
There are so many wedding fairs around, especially at the beginning of the year as a lot of couples get engaged around the festive period, and once the new year comes around, people’s thoughts turn to planning! Have a Google to see what wedding fairs are happening around your area. Different wedding fairs have different vibes – there’s the huge wedding exhibitions, and the tiny intimate venue showcases. The large fairs can feel a little overwhelming if you’re early in your planning, so perhaps start out with a smaller wedding fair! If you’ve already shortlisted some venues, get in touch to ask whether they are holding any open days or wedding fairs. That way, you’ll get to check out the venue at the same time as meeting some potential suppliers. Make sure that you go to the wedding fairs
If you can, it’s always worth registering with the organisers ahead of the fair. Often there are little extras you can get if you pre-register, and who doesn’t love a goody bag?!
Check who is there
Most wedding fairs will publish a list of attendees in advance of the fair, whether on their website or via their social media. If you check these out in advance, you’ll be able to do a bit of research before you attend and get a feel for which suppliers you like, so you can make a beeline for meeting them in person on the day to see more of their work and meet them in person.
Take a pen!
Some very practical advice, but wise words from the lovely Nina at Meadowsweet Cakes. She says… ‘Take a pen with you, and mark the cards/brochures of the suppliers you got along with. It’s very easy to forget who is who once you get home’.
I think this is excellent advice. One thing you leave a wedding fair with, along side lots of good ideas and inspiration, is a lot of leaflets! If you love a supplier’s work, or love chatting to them, be sure to mark their leaflet or make notes on it to remind you that you loved them on the day. That will remind you when you get home and sort through the leaflets you collected!
Be open minded!
There are always lots of suppliers exhibiting at wedding fairs, but why not take the time to speak to as many suppliers as possible. The lovely Lorna from Willow Celebrant Services suggests that you do this. She says ‘they may take you down a new route that you didn’t know was possible. You may find you click with them, they may come up with great ideas for your wedding and also they know A LOT of good suppliers and can give great recommendations.’
Do some investigating once you’re home!
Another tip from Nina at Meadowsweet Cakes! She suggests that you do a bit of investigating after the fair, ‘check suppliers website, their reviews or ratings on Facebook and Google, and read the testimonials they have on their website to get a better idea of the service they offer.’
The awesome Lee from Walkabout Magic’s advice is key! He says
‘If you have a date booked – even if it’s a couple of years away – don’t wait! Book your suppliers as soon as you know who you want, as the good ones get booked up fast. If you feel a supplier is for you but you want to chat to your partner about it first, then get in touch with them to arrange a follow up meeting where you can both chat to them and make that decision together.’ You don’t want to be left disappointed!
Try something different
If you feel like traditional Wedding Fairs aren’t for you, or you’ve been to a few and want to try a new way of finding suppliers, then why not look for something a little different? The Engage Wedding Planning Party is a fabulous event that takes place in various venues around Herts, Beds, Bucks and Cambs. Organised by the lovely Becca at Engage Weddings, this is no ordinary wedding fair! You can meet with suppliers with no pressure, no sales, just try their services and see what you like, whilst having a fun night out too. Entry gets you bubbles, food and the opportunity to hear from wedding experts, have your hair and make up done, and check out suppliers in action! Check the Engage blog to find out when the next Wedding Planning Party will be taking place.
Wedding fairs are an excellent way to gather inspiration and help you to plan for your big day. I will be attending the Bride: The Wedding Show at Knebworth Barns on 5th and 6th January 2019, which is a brilliant show with loads of fab suppliers in attendance. I have a limited number of free tickets available, so if you’d like to go, drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you some!